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Tim Hardaway reveals Manute Bol asked for $500k before letting go of Warriors jersey #10: 'Give me your whole contract'

Hoping he could convince Bol to hand him his favorite number for a certain amount of dollars, Hardaway reached out to his 7-foot-7 teammate, but to no avail
Tim Hardaway reveals Manute Bol asked for $500k before letting go of Warriors jersey #10

Manute Bol and Tim Hardaway

In 12 of his 14 seasons in the league, Tim Hardaway rocked his signature No. 10. The only time he didn’t use the number was during his stint with the Indiana Pacers in the 2002/03 season, and, some may not know this, also during his rookie season with the Golden State Warriors.

The story of Tim’s No. 5 jersey

If we would Google images of Warriors Tim Hardaway right now, we’ll surely see him wearing No. 10. However, in the 1989/90 season, that jersey number belonged to the late great Manute Bol.

At the time, Bol was already using the number for quite some time. On the other hand, Hardaway was playing in his first-ever NBA season. Having donned the No. 10 since high school, “Tim Bug” wanted to have it in the pros as well.

Hoping he could convince Bol to hand him his favorite number, Hardaway reached out to his 7-foot-7 teammate, but to no avail. Instead, the Sudanese made a counter offer that blew Hardaway’s mind- $500k in exchange for the No. 10.

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“No. 10 was my first jersey [in high school],” Hardaway told OPOstories from the NBA last year. “That was my very very first jersey. It just stuck with me throughout my whole career… It was a funny story. [The] reason I wore number five was Manute Bol had No. 10. And I said ‘Manute, hey man, how much would it cost for me to get No. 10?’ he said ‘500 thousand dollars.’ I said ‘What?! C’mon man, that’s my whole contract.’ He said ‘Exactly. That shows me if you want it real bad, give me your whole contract.’ I said ‘No man, I’ll take No. 5 please.’ [Laughs].”

The following season, the Warriors shipped Bol to the Philadelphia 76ers, making the No. 10 up for grabs. Of course, Hardaway seized the opportunity.

A terrific sense of humor

Bol may not have been fluent in English; however, the language barrier didn't stop his sense of humor, as he still managed to bring joy to the team.

"He was a wonderful man with a terrific sense of humor," then Warriors coach Don Nelson said of Bol via SF Gate. "He had everybody on our team in stitches all of the time. He cared deeply about his people and did everything he could to help them."

To this day, Manute Bol’s unbelievable journey to the NBA remains one of the most thrilling stories in the world of basketball. Many remember him for his incredible height and unconditional love for the Sudanese people. But for Hardaway and some of his peers in the NBA, Bol was a lot of things. One of them was a genuinely fun person.


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